Saskatchewan’s Teaching Treaties in the Classroom curriculum and resources were developed by Saskatchewan’s Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC), in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, the Government of Canada, and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. The OTC commissioned the development of the first teacher resource guides for grades 7-12 in 2001.
In 2002, the OTC published the first resource package: Teaching Treaties in the Classroom Resource Guide 7-12 and Teaching Treaties in the Classroom: Teacher Resource Kit, consisting of videos, posters, books, maps, activity guides etc., to compliment existing social studies/native studies/history curriculum. In 2008, two more publications, Treaty Essential Learnings: We Are All Treaty People and Teaching Treaties in the Classroom: K-6 Resource Guides were published. The treaty resources were delivered to all provincial and First Nations schools in the province in 2008. The initiative targets all students moving through Saskatchewan schools, both public and First Nations-controlled.
In 2008, the government declared treaty education mandatory for grades K-12 in both First Nations and provincial schools. It is expected that students will develop a strong understanding of: treaty relationships, the spirit and intent of treaties, the historical context of treaties, and treaty promises and provisions. The OTC regards education to be of great importance in building a harmonious future between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Saskatchewan; these curriculum resources are seen as a critical component of this education.
The main goal is to teach students about the treaties and treaty relationships between First Nations and Canada, and how these affect all citizens of Canada. This information is presented to students from the perspective of both First Nations and the Government of Canada. It aims to correct misconceptions that many Canadians have about the relationship between Canada and First Nations people, and to engender renewed respect for the living, breathing treaty relationships which all citizens of Saskatchewan are part of, and were meant to benefit from. These resources have been developed in close consultation with Elders as well as both Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators in the province, and are designed to complement existing school curriculum. Teachers and administrators are not obligated to participate in any training/workshops prior to implementing the curriculum and resources in their classrooms and schools, but training is available in the form of workshops facilitated by educators and First Nations Elders.